T Nation



Hey all...while on the Hammer Strength behind the neck press machine I was nearing the end of a fairly heavy set (nothing really too bad) and my form broke and for some dumb reason I raised my head off the bench forward as I was pressing up and felt something tweak badly in my neck. Today I cannot rotate my head side to side without major shooting pains. I think this is an old injury as this has happened twice before in the last 5 years (once while doing dumbell shrugs and pitching my head forward). My question is does this suggest a muscle imbalance that I should address - my little understanding of anatomy tells my I strained or pulled my levator scapulae, but that is just a guess. It seems to be weak when I do overhead presses. Any suggestions as to how to strengthen this muscle so as to avoid future injury (I know, I know, KEEP GOOD FORM!)

Thanks to all... wait one other question - I was watching olympic speed skating the other day and noted the awesome quad development of the skaters and was wondering if there is something we can apply from their movements or sport that we (I) could utilize in leg training? Is it their TUT or high reps or explosive reps or ALL OF THE ABOVE. That always seems to be the answer in the end, right? Thanks again. Stay healthy!


I think your problem probably stems from some sort of a pinched nerve rather than muscular imbalances. It sometimes happens to me when I sneeze with my neck at an awkward angle. Perhaps a chiropracter or an ART specialist can help.

As for skaters' quad development, have you noticed that the short track events are dominated by Asian nations like China, Korea and Japan? One would think that such sprint event would be dominated by blacks, as in running events. Perhaps it could be attributable to blacks having less access to skating rinks, but maybe it has something to due with the fact that sprint skating doesn't seem to require extremely fast muscular contractions, but rather high overall power output.


I highly recommend you get yourself to a doctor, preferably one specializing in sports medicine and/or injury rehab. Neck/back injuries are nothing to play around with, and it sounds like you've got a pretty serious one.


Probably has more to do with being compact (i.e. low center of gravity). You really need to lean hard into those corners and make drastic changes in your balance. A higher center of gravity would make this difficult. Bonnie Blair had MASSIVE legs and no upper body, even though she wasn't terribly short, so she did well. Also, taller skaters would take up too much space on the track, and the shorter "stride" necessary just is too far from natural for the taller person.


I would tend to agree with the others in this forum. You most likely tweeked your vertabrae out of alignment and a quick trip to the chiropractor should take care of the problem. but take heed, the longer you take to rectify the problem, the more adjustments it will tale to keep ypu in alignment. I visit my chiropractor once a month just for a tune up to keep everything in proper alignment. the stress we put ouselves through day in and day out plays havoc with the spine.


I have done the same thing during behind the neck presses and pull-ups. The only thing that helped me (besides time) was having a neck "adjustment" from a chiropractor. I never got any relief from my chronic lower back pain from the chiro, but after my neck sessions, the pain is gone within 3 days. I also found that pressing directly on the site of pain (hard) with two fingers for repeated bouts of 5 sec (then resting 15 secs) gives immediate but temporary relief and allows me to function while healing. I got that technique from an old Muscle and Fitness article so I can't vouch for it's scientific validity, but it works for me.